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Many individuals leave the workforce for a period of time for one reason or another.  It is always scary, especially if you have an established career.  There are, however, steps that you can take while you are out to prepare for re-entry.  And many of the items can be fun, rewarding and can keep you intellectually stimulated.  I am not suggesting that you do ALL of the things on the list.  Just pick one or two – do what you can.  Whatever has taken you out of the labor market is probably already keeping you very busy!

  • Continue memberships in one or more professional organizations

  • Stay up on any reading that you receive through these organizations.  If you only have time to skim the articles or headlines don’t worry!  At least you will have a general sense of what the hot topics are and will get a feel for general new trends. 

  • If you can, attend some of the lunches or other events sponsored by the professional organizations to maintain a network.  You can also add some of these activities to a resume to fill in holes.

  • If you have time, do some freelance work.  There are many websites out there now that make it very easy to find projects in your field – and most can be done at home.  Check our listing of sites at

  • Attend some workshops or seminars

  • Keep any licensure or certifications current – it is usually easier to maintain them than it is re-certify.

  • Do some volunteer work

  • Surf the net.  Find some sites geared toward your profession.  Join the site and/or sign up for any newsletters.  Take advantage of the content and peruse any discussion boards.

  • Stay up on current technology

  • Have lunch with former co-workers or colleagues on occasion or just drop them a quick e-mail to say hi.  It will be helpful to have established contacts when you decide to return.

  • Start a website.  Provide expert advice from your field.  Write good content for your pages and start a newsletter.

  • Write articles for e-zines.  There are thousands to choose from!  Send an e-mail with your article idea.  Most e-zine publishers are very happy to find good content.

  • Keep your resume up to date.  If you attend a seminar or do some volunteer work add it!

Kirsten Ross is mother of two sons and is a Certified Human Resource Professional (SPHR) dedicated to helping women achieve more life balance and to transforming the design of work.

Visit at to search our revolutionary flexible work job board featuring more than 35,000 fresh work from home, part time, job share, flex time and telecommuting opportunities, search for a job share partner or read valuable career, life balance and family articles.  You may also email her at



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